Emily Merrell 0:04
Welcome to the sixth degree Podcast, the podcast where we grill our guests about the things that make them tick and find out how human connection plays a role in their life. I’m your host, Emily Merrill. I’m your host Emily Merrill. And today I’m excited to have a very special guest. The Fabulous wonderful Beth Korn. Beth is a career and executive coach. And I am so excited to have her on the show. So Beth, welcome to the podcast.
Beth korn 0:37
Thank you, Emily.
Emily Merrell 0:38
I feel very honored to be your first podcast.
Beth korn 0:41
You are my first podcast and this is a long time coming. We have thought about this and talked with this for probably what, two years?
Emily Merrell 0:48
I think I invited you when I started the first time like literally, I ripped the band aid off and started this podcast in 2020 which was always a dream and wanted to podcast and I think you were one of the first invites and in here I have the pleasure of of locking downtime on the the infamous Beth corn schedule.
Beth korn 1:06
Yeah, and I love your podcasts. I’m a loyal listener as you know. Thank you
Emily Merrell 1:11
all seven people are all back. Beth Coren, thank you so much.
Beth korn 1:15
No, just kidding my various devices.
Emily Merrell 1:17
Yeah, if I’m your she I have her downloaded, I’m on all the devices. And I also want to paint a picture for the listeners right now. I showed up to this podcast in a sweatshirt with greasy hair. That looks like of oil right now. Like she literally looks like she has lunch with Kate Middleton after this podcast. Her hair is always flawless. Even on bad days when I had bad hair days, it looks like it was professionally blown out. So me who just want to paint a picture for how gorgeous you are.
Beth korn 1:48
For Dyson, they really do use the Dyson. Yeah, it’s worth it never actually blown out. I can’t say enough about it.
Emily Merrell 1:57
Amazing that that’s the Dyson like the hollow one where it’s quiet.
Beth korn 2:01
Original Dyson, not the hair wrap just the original. Just, there’s something special about it.
Emily Merrell 2:07
See, that’s all we need. That’s the end of the podcast, folks. Thanks so much for tuning in. Yeah. Okay, so that was British brand. Oh, yeah, that’s true. We were supposed to actually do an event with dice and in 2020, and then the pandemic put a big wrench in that one. So stay tuned. Maybe we’ll re invent that partnership. A bet Beth, before we dive in? Can you go ahead and introduce yourself? And what does the fabulous Beth corn do?
Beth korn 2:32
I am an executive coach. And I help people. I help people in so many ways. I help people get coveted jobs, land new jobs to get on boards. I do a lot of help prepping people for zoom interviews. We’ll get into that in a little bit. And overall, I help people become better leaders.
Emily Merrell 2:53
How did you get into this realm? Were you always that go to career person or career question person when you were in the corporate world? Or, like how did you get to become a company?
Beth korn 3:06
I was that person that in college, did people’s resumes and prepped them for interviews? Really, I just love anything career related. It started way back when I was very pre professional like my, you know, college roommates. I always joke that I was always in a suit interviewing.
Emily Merrell 3:22
Where did you get your suit from? I feel like you very career oriented.
Beth korn 3:25
And yeah, it’s just pretty much who I am. And I always help people. I helped my friends with their job searches, or the resumes and it became the whole journey really is I took time off. And I had my third child. And I went to a career workshop taught by coaches. And I didn’t even know career coaching existed. And I started working with one of the coaches afterward and realized this is a great, this is a great spot for me. This is this is where I should go next. So I got certified and the rest is history.
Emily Merrell 4:00
And this is while you were at home with your three kids, you were you st launched your coaching business, and you launched your coaching business like what you mentioned before, Coach became a buzzword. I feel like I was
Beth korn 4:13
one of the first professionally certified coaches. There is a certification and I got it 11 years ago, no, actually 12 years ago. Wow. Okay. I’ve been in this in this space a long time.
Emily Merrell 4:26
And so how did you go from being that person that was helpful to your friends who would you know, would send their husbands or send their wives to you for career advice, and then get the gumption to actually charge for your worth?
Beth korn 4:39
I didn’t tell you what happened to the middle. Oh, tell me what happened in the middle to get my MBA at Kellogg. And I worked at att Kraft and JPMorgan. So I have a lot of corporate experience. And when I was in corporate I was always in marketing and business development. So so much of what I do is really helping people market themselves. Right. That’s what coaching is. It’s it’s letting people, you know, figure out how to be their best selves, how to market themselves, how to promote themselves, how to talk about themselves, how to be succinct in their messaging, how to be consistent in their messaging. So yeah, my corporate experience is obviously much more significant in my background, then helping friends to be honest.
Emily Merrell 5:21
Totally. So then, but then you had this corporate experience, you got this certification? And then how did you let people know you were open for business?
Beth korn 5:31
Well, as I said, I went to a career workshop, run by Kellogg, so it was run by the Kellogg School of Management. And ironically, the person that I had been chatting with, put me in touch with somebody at NYU Stern, and I was about to become a career coach at NYU Stern. And, as one should always do, I called my Kellogg coach and thanked him so much for, you know, helping me and giving me the confidence to do this and to share the good news that I was going to be joining NYU. And in that moment, he said, Wait, we need you at Kellogg. And in that moment, my coaching, consultancy was born. And I have been working with both schools ever since.
Emily Merrell 6:16
That was the magic origin story of Kellogg and stern.
Beth korn 6:20
And to this day, I still work with both of those institutions. And the blessing of it was that I never really went full time at either place. So over the years, I’ve just built, you know, more and more what I call corporate clients, schools, law firms, and I still have a one to one coaching practice. Wow, I scale this it was really organic with Kellogg because the reason I joined the team, nobody on the existing team wanted to run Virtual Job Search groups, group coaching groups for, you know, eight alumni around the world. So the irony is that 12 years ago, I started doing virtual coaching, which, you know, during COVID, everybody was, you know, jumping into
any we’re already there. Like,
I was a pioneer in virtual coaching. And was this was presume
Emily Merrell 7:06
to So, right, all teleconference, teleconferences, you didn’t even see people’s faces, you were hosting a conference.com.
Beth korn 7:13
And it really worked well. Because you listen in a different way, when you don’t see people, you know, we’ve talked about, I’m a big podcast, I’m a big advocate of just listening, sometimes it’s, it gives you more space to think.
Emily Merrell 7:27
I love that. And we talked about this before I, Beth and I go back and forth about talking sometimes on Zoom or on the phone. And I’m like, oh, when I’m on Zoom, I’m focused on that person. And when I’m on the phone, I find I get more distracted. I’m like, oh, what’s on Instagram, and I’ll scroll and I’ll multitask. And you have the opposite effect.
Beth korn 7:47
Everybody has different different, like, ways of listening and learning. But I found that was good. Now when I do those groups, I’ve changed it up a little bit. The first week is still teleconference. People listened better. That’s like the section on personal branding. And the second week, we do zoom. And they love that because it’s like, that’s what you look like, that’s who you are. So their original,
Emily Merrell 8:08
like love is blind. But for career coaching, basically, she’s, she’s facilitating relationships. So that I’m so excited. We’re talking when we are talking because I think the past few years have been so, so much a roller coaster. And I’m sure we’ll always say this every time we connect there always be a roller coaster. But now, all of these jobs that looked so comfy and so secure and so ironclad have definitely been a lot more wobbly. We’ve had massive layoffs at tech companies like meta Twitter is slashing doors left and are slashing, slashing jobs left and right. What is it felt like on your end? What do you feel like the climate is for people who are job searching, searching at this moment?
Beth korn 8:53
It has changed so much in the past five months in the past, like, you know, before, really before the summer of 2022. People could. I mean, people were negotiating for 50% above, you know, asking and getting it. There was such a frenzy for talent for experienced talent. Now, I feel like you know what, I actually think there’s no, it’s not really frenetic because all these companies, including a lot of media companies that have recently made layoffs, have given really generous severance packages. I think the frenzy is going to start in first or second quarter 2023. That’s why I’m telling people network now don’t wait. Yes, you have your severance, but you know, put your feelers out, reconnect with your old network. You know, what do you
Emily Merrell 9:45
I mean, you know, how I feel about networking, but what do you what recommendations do you have for people who are in this position to reconnect with their old network? Like, should they just shoot them a LinkedIn message? Should they grab a coffee? What are your best practices? for making this reconnection,
Beth korn 10:01
make it real, make it authentic, if you’re going to send a LinkedIn customized, you know, personalize that note, say, hey, we haven’t chatted in a while Let’s reconnect, you know, don’t say, oh my gosh, I’m looking for a job. Yeah, like,
Emily Merrell 10:16
you were like, block, I don’t want this energy and this vibe,
Beth korn 10:19
not the, the irony is, former colleagues are the best hire the best hiring market of everybody that I work with. I mean, like, when I track who got their jobs through their network, it’s often the pool is people that you that you worked with in the past. And it’s not just the past five years, it could be 1520 years ago. And former bosses are really good network contacts.
Emily Merrell 10:44
And what do you recommend doing I completely agree with him, even
Beth korn 10:47
though it’s interesting when you start getting into your 40s, sometimes your best contacts or your subordinates, people that you trained, that you were so great to think of think of the people that you that worked, that you worked for 10 years ago, you might soon be in a position to hire them. I mean, on your podcast, because yours move forward, you know, you never know it switches, it switches, everything switches. So it’s really good to keep in touch with people that you worked for, and that you worked that you that reported to you both ways.
Emily Merrell 11:24
I definitely I have, I’ve done a good job of staying connected to both of those people. And it’s funny, my subordinate is, what five years younger than me six years younger than me, and is crushing it crushing life entrepreneurial come to mind, she’s come to my events before. It’s been really wonderful to be a part of her journey. And she was my intern for two years at Tory Burch. And then I got to hire her at intermix. And then, you know, she was at, like my second or third sixth degree society event. So we’ve been very intertwined throughout the years, which has been really fun.
Beth korn 11:57
You’re the former boss that keeps hiring, keeps hiring the person. Yeah.
Emily Merrell 12:00
And now she’s like a director. I’m like, Hi, can you hire me?
Beth korn 12:05
If you ever want to go back to corporate monopolies, you have created this incredible community, but should you that would be a great contact for you.
Emily Merrell 12:14
Beth korn 12:15
I have a guy who’s 65. And, you know, he, most of his friends are thinking about retirement. And he said, You know, I can only play so much golf and I have a lot of fuel in my tank, I loved him, he was such a great client, he reached out to someone that he had trained 20 years earlier. And that person hired him. I love that. I think that’s such such a good lesson
Emily Merrell 12:38
in maintaining relationships and not burning bridges. And even if you don’t have anything in common, like staying top of mind and checking in on that person, for that round of golf, or a glass of wine, or whatever it may be,
Beth korn 12:52
relationships can be some of the most powerful in color.
Emily Merrell 12:55
I love that. Okay, So lesson number one. The second thing that I want you to teach us all today, that and learn from your wisdom is LinkedIn, you have figured out LinkedIn a lot quicker than most people have. And you come across very authentic and giving. Versus I feel like I’m sure you still get like 1000 sales bots, hitting up your inboxes or trying to pitch you on something. But how do you what’s your strategy for for keeping it real on LinkedIn?
Beth korn 13:26
Well, it’s funny, Emily, because you launched a whole new revenue stream for me, because remember, we beta tested my LinkedIn masterclass. Yeah. And it is such a popular offering. And I love doing it. I’ve done it a lot for teams this year. Real Estate teams like corporate teams that need or not need, but that have never thought to leverage LinkedIn for business development. And it is such a brilliant tool for business development. It’s not just for getting a job. It’s for thought leadership. And there’s so many, there’s so many great things about LinkedIn. So a lot of my clients who want to be on boards will up their game on LinkedIn, because you know, a lot of people search LinkedIn, not only for jobs, and recruiters for jobs, but for board positions for panel discussions for conferences. So LinkedIn, just, you know, it’s my jam. So what do I do to keep it real? I just try to vary. I don’t try to sell all the time. I just try to let people know what I’m doing, like interesting things that people might find interesting. Yeah, I love I love that you share. Post that often. I only post once a month, which for most people will be completely too infrequently. But I think my clients and my network actually appreciates that, that I don’t just like throw stuff out there everything. You know, there’s a reason it’s interesting or something I’m doing, or you can learn from whatever story I’m sharing.
Emily Merrell 14:49
You do a really good job of keeping it varied and I agree, I think people Hauenstein whenever you post because you post so so infrequently, but frequently Ask that people take the time to consume what you are posting, which is nice to see I actually have a friend who met her boyfriend on LinkedIn. And I felt she spends a lot of time networking and connecting on LinkedIn. And she met her partner on LinkedIn. What was the story? I don’t know the full story, but I think they just slipped through each other’s DMS, or were networking with one another, and it led to something else. I have not yet been hit on on LinkedIn. So I, I think I also make it you don’t want to hit on me. But um, yeah, I thought that was an interesting use case of LinkedIn. Literally, you know, bringing it full circle. Okay, so you help so LinkedIn. So for people who are unemployed right now or currently let go. Do you what are your feelings on the open to work circle?
Beth korn 15:54
No, no, I have a strong no against that. It just looks desperate to me. I I agree. I feel sad when I say that. In fact, when it’s a client of mine, I’ll say, let’s talk you know, yeah. It connect on this. I yeah, I just think it’s yeah, I also don’t even like the hiring one. It doesn’t seem authentic. I Yeah. I just like a pure headshot. Do your do that kind of recruiting. either. I need to be recruited or I want to be you know, I’m hiring within posting. And within your about section. But yeah, I’m just not I’m not a big. I’m not a fan
Emily Merrell 16:34
the circle. I’m with you. I feel like it feels. I feel sad as well. I feel like that’s a great word to say where I’m like, Oh, no. Things aren’t doing well, I should really well.
Beth korn 16:48
People, some people who are full time consultants will always have that circle, like open to work, which is even more sad.
Emily Merrell 16:55
I know. And I’m like their business isn’t doing well. I’m very confused by it. I completely agree. I’m glad that we’re on the same page with that one. I feel like if I was in that position, I would probably never put the circle up. So what are your feelings on people on resumes? So I haven’t used a resume in, gosh, like 10 years, basically. Back in the day, we would put our address on the resume. I don’t think you do that anymore.
Beth korn 17:21
Somebody’s in state, I still like sitting in state just because it gives them a place.
Emily Merrell 17:26
Okay, city and state. Sometimes people have put pictures on their resume, sometimes not. What are your feelings on pictures on resumes?
Beth korn 17:34
on resumes are actually required? And typical in Europe? Yes, not here. So I would be very mindful of the country that you’re applying for. Because here in this country, it can lead to bias. So you actually shouldn’t put it on your resume. If you’re in the United States. If you’re in Europe, you actually have to, I’m not sure about Asia, I don’t I don’t think they have pictures in Asia,
Emily Merrell 17:55
Latin America, you put them on to
Beth korn 17:57
America. So you know what people forget to do they have these, especially my clients that have really robust, awesome, LinkedIn, and they forget to put on their resume. So definitely hotlink, your LinkedIn on your resume, because you know, everything should be consistent. But you should definitely put LinkedIn on your resume, because it’s also a good update. It makes your resume seem very current.
Emily Merrell 18:21
Oh, I like that. Okay, so put LinkedIn on your resume. How far back? So we’ve heard, you know, you’re 65 years old, and you’re interviewing right now, should you have a 10 page resume? Or should you still keep it down to one page?
Beth korn 18:33
It should be 2000 and above, like the last 20 years, anything before that? Should be bucketed into like, you know, early experience. And no hard No, a resume should not be more than two pages.
Emily Merrell 18:48
When I was in HR, I got a resume that was eight pages long. And it included her job in high school as like a Starbucks barista, or on the tennis team. The girl had been out of college for like six years. So I tried to provide that feedback. And it was it was not received. What she said, My dad told me this is how to do it. And I was like, Okay, well, best of luck to you. And I wish you the best. Yeah, she did not. She did not change that at all. Okay, so I’m so with you on that. What about? So again, I haven’t made a resume and so long, I made my last one on the Word doc. What are your thoughts on like these Canva templates? Have you seen these like Mirage top resumes?
Beth korn 19:34
Don’t reinvent resumes. Resume readers are the laziest readers, and they just want to get your information in the format. They’re used to hard hard no on that show, keep it simple. Reverse chronology don’t don’t reinvent a resume. I’ve had so many people that, you know, I had this one guy that wanted to be investment banking. He was a Yale senior. And he used a template that made it look like he wanted to go into the film industry. And I said well What made you choose this template? He’s like, Oh, I just found that I thought it looked really cool. And I and I said no like this. No, just the facts, man. Reverse chronology, make it easy, make it readable. He went from getting no traction even on on campus recruiting to, of course, you know, snagging a job in investment banking. And now, you know, he’s been, he’s been in this field, he’s actually in private equity for the last 10 years. And we always laugh about that, that he had this just creative resume, because a lot of people don’t think it’s true. They just go online, they say, Oh, I liked the way this template works. Let me let me say, but on the receiving end, it’s harder to read. There’s a lot of reasons why your resume has to be a reflection of the industry that you’re applying to. Yeah, I think that’s a really good way to design Yes, find something that’s different and break through. But if you want a more traditional, you know, banking, job, financial services legal, just stick to the typical business,
Emily Merrell 20:58
keep it simple. What are your feelings on cover?
Beth korn 21:02
I mean, keep it typical. From a word standpoint, you know, yes, make it stand out with, you know, your impact statements, and your bullets being specific and awesome. But just from a formatting standpoint, don’t reinvent formatting. Okay.
Emily Merrell 21:17
So rule number two from bat don’t reinvent formatting. What about? And I’ve heard this from HR people, and I’d be curious, your take on it? What about using the job or the job description language and kind of peppering that into your resume?
Beth korn 21:32
That’s good for Word Search. Okay. I
Emily Merrell 21:36
felt like that was a an easy one. Yeah,
Beth korn 21:39
a lot of my clients are our, you know, leading companies, their C suite, and they’re looking for board positions. So even when you’re looking for a board position, you need to have a resume. So it’s really important to have a resume that tells your leadership story, not just your job description. So I’m a real Stickler also that your bullet should not just sound like a job description, they have to sound like, you know, really impact statements how you made a difference?
Emily Merrell 22:05
And is that mean? Using words like led and empowered and
Beth korn 22:10
overshot create it? Yeah, power words.
Emily Merrell 22:14
Love that. What are your feelings on cover letters, the coveted cover letter?
Beth korn 22:21
I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but don’t bother.
Emily Merrell 22:24
I yeah, I feel I feel similar. Similarly,
Beth korn 22:28
unless a company specifically requested, they just want the resume the resume scanned to a big database, and then cover letter gets thrown away. So quickly.
Emily Merrell 22:38
So then, as I mentioned, at the top of the show, you are always dressed in the nine to always looks like you’re going for an interview, you always look like you could run into someone who can interview in that moment, and you would crush it. What are your best practices for people showing up for interviews, either via zoom? or in person?
Beth korn 22:54
Dress like you care? I mean, I tried to dress on brand, honestly, you know, when I’m when I’m on a zoom, especially, you know, when we’re in some kind of career situation? Yeah, you have to, you have to like dress for the job you want? Or maybe even the next job you want. Just as a CEO? I do I do. I think it makes a big impression. I mean, your first impression is everything right? You only have one chance to make a first impression. And so it’s okay to like up your game with your clothing.
Emily Merrell 23:31
I think one of the lessons I learned in fashion is or what we learned in college, and I went to college in Ohio, so the norm was wear a suit and go into an interview. And then when you get to New York City, and you get into fashion, you’re not wearing a suit to a fashion job. And I learned that very quickly, who was not going to make it to second rounds for things or who was just by how they they dressed because they if they really were invested in fashion, even if they wanted to be on the legal team, or if they wanted to be in it like you still had to play the part of the company that they were. So do you have any tips on how to best investigate the company culture before you show up for the interview?
Beth korn 24:13
No matter what. My default for a first round is always to wear a blazer for women to wear a blazer, I just believe a strong shoulder makes a great impact, especially on Zoom. It’s strength, right? It’s it’s volume. And just you know, a simple, simple, solid colored shirt underneath. That’s just my standard if you’re in business or law, or basically anything even in fashion. Now,
Emily Merrell 24:38
in fashion you could What about shoes, I always get overwhelmed by shoes.
Beth korn 24:42
I still think a lot of first rounds are on Zoom. That’s why you know I mentioned this when we when we first started. So much of my business starts with people who need prep on Zoom interviews. We think it’s intuitive and common sense. But a lot of people don’t realize your lighting matters on zoom, how much your head takes up in the space. You know, so many people like they’re like leaning back in their chairs, and they’re only taking up half the screen. There are a lot of ways to enhance your chances of getting to the second round if you have a really good zoom interview. So lighting, clothing, hand motions. So in other words like shoes don’t matter, because
Emily Merrell 25:26
unless they have you do a twirl, then you’re in trouble
Beth korn 25:28
getting to shoes so the second or third round. I love it
Emily Merrell 25:32
just don’t wear slippers. i You bring up a great point that was just a lot of the first interviews are happening on Zoom. And while asking questions or making people feel comfortable via computer are the norm. They are the norm for us. What would you say for someone who having a one on one with someone on the computer might be their version of hell? Like what? Pep Talk would bat card gift?
Beth korn 25:57
Oh, you mean the person being interviewed? Yes. Yeah, they should definitely hire a coach to help them because you have to get you have to overcome that. There’s no option.
Emily Merrell 26:09
Do you typically encourage them to start off with like, how are you how is your day? Kind of niceties are jump right in. jump right in and people are busy. Be mindful of time. Let people know. I know you have a shorter amount of time and want to be able to answer any questions you have as
Beth korn 26:30
are you saying Emily as the interviewer or the interviewee, the interviewee. Let you want to answer the question specifically, if they ask. You know, I’m excited to be here and let them take over and let them drive.
Emily Merrell 26:49
Such a bad interviewer because I actually met with wonderful Interviewer What am I talking about? But I drive the whole conversation. And before I knew it, I heard the whole
Beth korn 26:57
reason is, you know, you might only have 20 minutes, especially if it’s in early early in the process. So you don’t want to waste with a lot of banter you want to get to your points you want to get to your your star stories, right? You want to get to the meat. Well, that is the star story about a star story is really a story that enables the interviewer to see how you’ve made an impact. How you have you gotten results, right situation task action result, it’s a great technique. Have you heard of it?
Emily Merrell 27:31
I’ve heard of it roughly from you. But can you
Beth korn 27:35
talk about it a lot? Is like just a little nugget that you can, you know, you go through your resume and you pick out certain bullets that you know you’re going to talk about every interview, and you create stories around those bullets. So you go armed with an interview to interview with specific stories. It’s almost like you’re, you know, when you’re a politician you’re going to you’re going to give the same answer no matter what the question is. So think through what are your key stories? What are your key accomplishments that you’re going to talk about an interview regardless, and have those scripted well prepared?
Emily Merrell 28:10
What’s your story?
Beth korn 28:14
I usually talk about my clients like different success stories, working, you know, perhaps working with a law firm, I’ve helped a lot of people become General Counsel. That was my big, sweet spot in 2021. Remember that a lot of my clients wherever they were deputy GCS associate GCS, and I helped them on the journey to general counsel. And I onboard them, you know, how do you how do you step into this huge role and deal with a board of directors? That is a that’s a big leap in leadership. So that’s a that’s a little star story I have. I won’t waste our time because it’s three minutes.
Emily Merrell 28:50
This is my favorite thing about Beth Beth is very good at letting other people take up time not herself. She’s got a million star stories, but you’re you always make the other person feel like a star.
Beth korn 28:59
And then the other one is I just started working with a lot of corporate clients like literally this LinkedIn masterclass has been so fun, you know, taking companies that never thought about leveraging LinkedIn and helping them as a team. So those are a little star like those are. So my star stories would help my clients understand what I can do for them, right, how I can help them.
Emily Merrell 29:19
So I think the teachable moment here is that even if you’re not interviewing for something every single person should have be armed with the star story that they can show up with and that they can that can illustrate their strengths and their greatness.
Beth korn 29:32
Several star stories, several stories, armed with three, okay. It’s a great society when you have your networking events. You need a couple stories for a 15 a 15 minute networking.
Emily Merrell 29:47
Yes, yes you do. I always like to be armed with like what I’m currently watching and obsessed with something more personal, something more professional. Yeah, it’s wild. Every story can Every networking experience has been so different and so unique. And it’s fun to read the person to to see if they can go to personal really quickly or if they want to hang out in the professional world, and read the body language and the tonality of how they respond. I want to be a CIA agent next life.